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Re: Does RM make a qualitative difference?

From: Mark Baker <distobj@acm.org>
Date: Wed, 18 Dec 2002 10:29:41 -0500
To: Christopher B Ferris <chrisfer@us.ibm.com>
Cc: www-ws-arch@w3.org
Message-ID: <20021218102941.Q26901@www.markbaker.ca>

On Wed, Dec 18, 2002 at 09:35:01AM -0500, Christopher B Ferris wrote:
> I think that REJECTION is a rather strong, and IMO inaccurate, term. 
> You keep saying that the WG has REJECTED this constraint, and yet we (the 
> WG) keep 
> responding that we are still considering whether, where, and how REST fits 
> into the Web services architecture.

I don't know that it's important to distinguish between explicit and
implicit rejection.  As Neil Peart wrote[1], "If you choose not to decide,
you still have made a choice".

I respect the choice of the WG to defer this issue (as much as it
disappoints me), but let's call a spade a spade; the WG currently
rejects the uniform interface constraint.

> Quoting from Roy's thesis[1] in section 5.1.5:
> "The central feature that distinguishes the REST architectural style from 
> other network-based styles is its emphasis on a uniform interface between 
> components (Figure 5-6). By applying the software engineering principle of 
> generality to the component interface, the overall system architecture is 
> simplified and the visibility of interactions is improved. Implementations 
> are decoupled from the services they provide, which encourages independent 
> evolvability. The trade-off, though, is that a uniform interface degrades 
> efficiency, since information is transferred in a standardized form rather 
> than one which is specific to an application's needs. The REST interface 
> is designed to be efficient for large-grain hypermedia data transfer, 
> optimizing for the common case of the Web, but resulting in an interface 
> that is not optimal for other forms of architectural interaction."
> The emphasis in the above quote is mine. That statement alone should give 
> one pause.

What's emphasized there?  I can't see it.  Presumably it's one of the
last two sentences, but I can't see how any of those would give me
pause.  It's not like Web services are a replacement for telnet or the
Quake protocol, which would be examples of different forms of
architectural interaction.

> IMO, you do yourself and your cause a disservice by making rash statements 
> like
> the one above. 

That's how I see it, sorry.  Once this is all resolved, I'm confident
that you'll be able to look back on some of my past "rash" statements
and have some sympathy for them.  I may not be the most diplomatic
person on the planet 8-), but I damn well know *Internet* scale
distributed systems and that they are a *very* different thing than
Intranet-scale systems, which is what WSA seems intent on becoming.

 [1] http://www.lyricscafe.com/r/rush/039.htm

Mark Baker.   Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA.        http://www.markbaker.ca
Web architecture consulting, technical reports, evaluation & analysis
Received on Wednesday, 18 December 2002 10:24:46 UTC

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